Canadian and so proud of it …

I am lucky enough, with this blog, to have readers from every corner of the world; and, depending onProudCanadian where you live and the news you get to see, you may or may not know about the tragedy in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

When residents woke up last Tuesday morning the sky was blue, but some smoke, from forest fires, could be seen in the distance. By the afternoon the city was engulfed in flames and the 80,000 people who live there had to be evacuated.

The damage is extensive, lives have been taken and lives have been ruined. It is a tragedy of epic proportions.

Equally epic, is the way in which Canadians reacted. From large corporations to individuals who quickly and reflexively reached out to help strangers, I’ve watched in admiration and awe as something beautiful has emerged from all the devastation:

Alex Neary is a photographer (Wildeyed Photography). She was due to shoot a wedding last weekend. The couple, who were getting married in Toronto, are originally from Cape Breton, but now live and work in Fort McMurray.

When they ran for their very lives, they were forced to leave everything behind, including the bride’s wedding dress. Alex decided to help and immediately posted, on social media, asking if anyone had one they’d be willing to donate.

Within a couple of hours she had hundreds of offers, including one from the Lea-Ann Belter Bridal shop who, in the end, gave the bride two dresses, the one she loved and the one her mom loved.

Labatt Breweries, one of Canada’s founding businesses and oldest brewers, also immediately sprang into action. Halting their production of beer, instead, they filled 200,000 cans with water and shipped them to Fort McMurray so the firefighters and evacuees could have safe drinking water. They say they have more, if needed.

Two airlines, Canadian North Air and West Jet are allowing people fleeing to bring their pets onboard, regardless of how big or small those pets might be. Or how many. A photo I saw looked more like Noah’s Arc than the cabin of an aircraft. This, by the way, in response to horror stories of people who were forced to leave their animals behind in the raging inferno.

And perhaps most touching, is the generosity and compassion being shown by a group of Syrian refugees who were recently welcomed to Canada. They know all too well what it is like to be forced to leave your homeland with nothing; and, to show their gratitude to Canada for taking them in, they are donating what little they have to those in need.

These are just some of the good and great deeds, there are so many more. And what makes me the proudest, is that these gestures are done quietly, with no fanfare. The glory is in the giving. Typical Canada.





19 thoughts on “Canadian and so proud of it …

    • Yes it does and it is so important to keep reminding ourselves, and others, of it. It is so easy these days to to see only the bad.

      • I know. Sadly I guess bad news sells more copies of newspapers. You’d think (hope) it would be exactly the opposite.

      • It’s a vicious circle. The media create the demand and then once society has developed an addiction to it they, of course, respond with more and more toxic news. And because that’s all we see and hear, it gets to the point where we start to believe there are no more good, decent people out there.

      • I’ll never believe that. I know how they blew up the reports when Nick was stabbed… and I know too how many good people rallied around us, and that made more difference than I can say.

      • I agree with you, it would just be a welcome relief if all the good in the world was recognized. People need to know that even one kind word, or gesture or act counts and matters and makes a difference.

  1. Such a tragic event, apparently as of last night the public had donated $50 million to the Red Cross which will be matched by the federal government, shout outs to all who donated along with the corporations and individuals some who offered flowers to the homeless on Mothers Day. These gestures are heartwarming and make me proud to be a Canadian
    The fire fighters who have been battling the Beast as it has now been named are true heroes, they have come from far and wide to battle this fire
    Thank you Fransi for bringing this tragedy and generosity to the attention of the rest of the world

    • I don’t think you can say enough about the kindness and generosity and courage people demonstrate at times like this.

  2. You have every reason to be proud of being Canadian even in the midst of such natural disasters. I lived in Canada for a couple of years and was amazed by your superlatively warm and caring society. There may be other places in the world like that but I have not come across them myself yet.

    • Thanks. I have found people in India to be extremely kind, generous and compassionate, especially those with nothing. Amazing.

  3. I never knew of the large Irish community there until they showed a news clip of families having to move and leave their life behind – and those members of the fire fighters everyone involved must be highly commended. As you must be for highlighting it for those of us who are distanced from all the kind deeds not just from the professional groups but also from neighbours and friends.

    • Thanks Chris. I just like people to know there are good and kind and generous and compassionate people in this world. We only ever hear about the bad guys which, in my opinion is ass backwards.

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